On Pet Day, Here’s Why Adopting Is So Important
For those of us who are fortunate to have lived with animals in the home, we know what a true blessing it is.
From an enthusiastic wagging tail greeting you after a stressful day, to the soft and gentle purr of a cat as it sleeps at the end of your bed; I’d even go as far as to say there are very few things in life as rewarding as caring for a furry companion.
Wonderfully, this is something a growing number of people have been able to experience over the last year, with dog adoption rates soaring as people switch their working ways from long days commuting into the office to working from home.
It’s no secret that having a pet, particularly a dog, is not a part time job, and means you must have the time to be able to commit to an animal before taking the plunge and bringing one into the family.
However, it’s not just adoption rates that have gone through the roof. The demand for purposely bred puppies has shot to an all-time high, with many breeders across the UK upping their prices by thousands of pounds thanks to eager dog parents who are willing to pay top dollar for a furry friend.
Of course, the ‘adopt don’t shop’ argument is not new, and something I’ve recently experienced while on the hunt to add a four-legged friend to my little family, is that certain factors can often mean you get overlooked by rehoming charities, such as living in an apartment, rather than in a house with a private garden.
But what’s concerning is the number of young dogs who are now being resold on sites like Pets 4 Homes and Gumtree, or even ending up in rehoming centres, having been bought at the beginning of lockdown. Sadly, an increasing number of people are now finding themselves unable to care for their animals now office working is starting to open up again, meaning their pets are put through the stress and hardship of trying to find a new forever home.
Fortunately, the number of people who are in a position to take on a rescue pet has majorly increased, with online adoption searches soaring by 203% over the last year, according to research by Oxbridge. However, the 20 most popular dog breeds in the UK still account for 76% of all dog adoption searches, meaning many animals – in particular larger dogs – are still being left behind.
So often, people will overlook rescue dogs, especially mixed breeds, over fears they will present behavioural issues, opting to spend thousands of pounds on pure breed puppies instead.
Oxbridge’s dog grooming expert, Lisa Graham, told UNILAD:
While cost and space are obviously factors in people’s choice not to adopt a large dog, with the right care and the right home, oversized breeds make wonderful, gentle companions. As for mongrels, these unique dogs offer so much potential and personality. It’s heart-breaking to learn that, despite there being thousands of mutts in need of a home, they’re often overlooked in favour of pure-breed dogs. We say that they deserve a chance.
From my own experience, growing up with rescue dogs is one of the most fulfilling things you can experience, both as a child and as an adult. Bringing home a timid and frightened animal, whose difficult history has led to trust issues and a fear of everyone around them, can be hard at first. But, the feeling of seeing those fears eventually melt away as they become fully fledged loving members of the family, is a feeling second to none.
While I am yet to have any children of my own, I recently adopted my first dog since leaving home; a seven-year-old Bichon Frise, who is incredibly overweight and consumed with separation anxiety from being left alone for up to 12 hours at a time by a previous owner. He’s a little timid, he’s an absolute nightmare to try and get out on a walk, but it’s fair to say that in the short time since he made our small family complete, he has filled our hearts with incomprehensible amounts of love.
There is, of course, a reason and a need for the breeding of pure bread animals, and the encouragement to adopt is not a criticism of those who choose that path for whatever reason. But, sadly, with the huge increase in demand for puppies driving up prices, it leaves room for greedy breeders who are more concerned with making money than looking after the health of their animals, which can lead to health problems later down the line.
I would implore people to at least look into adoption, before making the decision to hand over thousands of pounds to a stranger in exchange for a beautiful companion. But, if you do choose to take the pure bread route, it’s absolutely crucial that you do all the necessary research into the breeder and the animal, so that you’re 100% ready to make the commitment, to ensure the animals don’t end up in rehoming shelters desperate to find their forever home.
Rehoming an animal who has faced hardship in their life is not an easy task, or one that should be taken lightly, but it is without question one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things you could ever do.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Most Read StoriesMost Read